As you know here at The Black Man Survival Guide we are firm believers in "do for self". With that being said the re-election of President Obama, along with some key Senate and local victories, will have a significant impact on the individual lives of millions of people.
This post touches on a few of the key changes (and lack thereof) that we can expect under a second term for President Obama. As the coalition that supported Obama and the Democrats is broad there is something for everyone in the Tuesday night victories. We must note however that the electoral victories do not signify the end of the battle. The real work comes now as we must push Obama and the rest of the government to keep the promises that they made during the long campaign cycle.
The Psychological Effect
Everyone likes to win. If you are an African American or Latino there is at least a 70% chance that you are an Obama supporter. In addition if you are a member of the LGBT community, an unmarried woman, or a self-described liberal of any race, creed or color you are probably a much happier camper as of Tuesday night. Many of us (including me) are breathing a sigh of relief as well as feeling joy, pride and satisfaction
The Legislative Effect
No one really knows what Obama will do in his second term, but many voted for him out of fear that Romney would undo all of the good things Obama did in his first term. Some key things that will remain in effect during the next 4 years:
Planned Parenthood will continue to exist
Obamacare will continue providing insurance for millions of previously uninsured
Draconian cuts to food stamp and other social programs will not occur
Medicare will not turn into a voucher program, and most importantly
Obama will get credit for the continuing recovery of the economy
Most analysts agree that over the next 4 years 10 to 12 million new jobs will be created IRRESPECTIVE OF WHO IS PRESIDENT. Obama began the great turnaround and he should get credit for this job creation. To put it bluntly, Romney is undeserving of the credit for these new jobs however he and the Republicans would use this job growth as a false justification for continued Republican rule. Thank god this will not happen.
Tuesday night was a loud repudiation on the war on women. Many of the conservative Senators and House members who supported draconian laws to include the Personhood Amendment and vaginal probes during abortion procedures were soundly defeated. In addition the election ushered in a record number of female senators (a total of 20). The most important victory for women however could be the fact that the re-election of Obama virtually guarantees that Obama will be tasked with picking one to three members of the Supreme Court. The Democratic selection of these justices should guarantee a protection of Roe vs. Wade and guarantee a woman's right to choose.
What the election showed us all is that the broad coalition of white, black and brown people of America actually has the power to influence elections - and win. As a part of this melting pot collective the Latino and African American vote cannot be taken for granted. In fact, most post-election analysis shows that the Latino and African American vote were critical in pushing Obama and many Senate candidates to victory.
No longer can the minority vote be taken for granted. This means that you truly have some political power to control legislation and potentially your own destiny.
Another very interesting thing happened during two local elections. In both Colorado and Washington citizens voted to legalize marijuana.
Although you may not live in either of these two states they have set a precedent for the legalization of marijuana in other states as well. The impact of this legislation could be huge as legalization of marijuana means the main reason for incarceration of young minorities (minor drug possession) could be eliminated. In addition, if legalization spreads to places like New York and California the overwhelming amounts of stop-and-frisk could be greatly reduced. Finally (and most importantly) the nature of the so-called drug war could be forever changed. No longer will billions be spent on chasing, catching, and imprisoning marijuana users. Instead millions of revenue could be raised through taxation of a legal marijuana product.
For the LGBT Community
Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is safe under Obama. In addition, the gains made in same sex marriage continued as a result of several states to include Maine and Maryland voting to legalize same-sex marriage. Progress in the LGBT community continues under the Obama Administration, while the country repudiated intolerant House and Senate legislators to include Todd Aikin, Richard Murdock, Allen West and Joe Walsh (all Tuesday night losers).
Obama is firmly committed to investing in education and technology - the future of America. As a central part of his platform Obama has already made things easier for students in relation to:
Going forward we can expect more of the same commitment however we must remember that much of the funding for education comes from state budgets that continue to be strapped.
What about Jobs?
Notice that even though all of these effects are extremely positive, none of them directly translate to finding a job, making more money or feeding your family. This is the reason that it is folly to ever expect that the government will "take care of you". Ultimately it is up to you to educate yourself, prepare yourself to be the best employee candidate possible, or to start your own successful business.
The Government can only create an environment for success. You must work within the environment to make success happen.
The Obama administration and the Democratic Party is clearly the better choice to help the poor and the middle class elevate their status, but they can only focus on the collective masses. Each individual must pull their own weight and find their own path to success, health and happiness. We are committed to helping you do just that. This is the Revolution of which we speak.
With respect and optimism,
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